With only two episodes to go, and a distinct feeling of closure in the air, Chuck has become succinctly plot driven in the last few weeks. This continues with Chuck Versus The First Kill, although for the pedantic, Chuck actually manages to dispatch two people in this story using his unique abilities.
Having lost his father to Fulcrum previously, Chuck is determined to find him and get the intersect out of his head, which means they need a Fulcrum agent to help him.
Although it’s entirely against everyone’s better judgement, Chuck enlists the help of his ex-girlfriend, Jill Roberts (Fast And Furious star, Jordana Brewster) who’s been rotting in jail since Chuck put her there. She points them to an agent called ‘Uncle Bernie’, who they entice into public by telling Jill’s family that she and Charles Carmichael have become engaged.
This is a weird scene, where Chuck is pursued through the Roberts family home by the portly Ken Davitian as ‘Bernie’, who chases him to the attic before having a coronary. There’s a definite nod to Weekend At Bernie’s, when, while bundling his lifeless body out of the house, they imitate his gruff voice to the assembled guests.
Having killed that lead, so to speak, they must explore other options, which conveniently develop when Bernie’s phone rings asking him to return to base.
Meanwhile, back at the Buy More, Emmett Milbarge is hatching a devious plan to further his retail career. He tells the assembled green shirts that an assessor is coming to Buy More to evaluate him, and he wants them all to be on best behaviour.
He then takes Morgan to one side and explains to him that if they don’t help him then he won’t get promoted, so it would be a mutually advantageous thing to do.
Sadly, Morgan’s been duped, and it’s not Emmett that’s being evaluated, but Big Mike! As a result, Big Mike is ousted and, disturbingly, Emmett gets his job. You know this is a set-up for ultimate retribution, but it doesn’t come in this story.
When Big Mike gets demoted he kisses Morgan and says, “I know it was you Morgan. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!” – a direct reference to the scene in The Godfather between Michael and Fredo Corleone. The best bit of this whole sub-plot is the scene where Lester sells how good Emmett is to the Buy More man, calling him ‘pretty much a hero’. His look of disgust when Emmett calls him a ‘brown noser’, and then adds ‘well he was born brown’ was nicely staged.
Chuck and the team decide to invade a Fulcrum training facility, believing Chuck’s dad is somewhere inside. Their plan, for what it’s worth, is for Chuck and Casey to take a recruitment exam while Sarah and Jill remain in the van. But they’re soon identified as not being who they appear, and mayhem and gunplay proceeds.
It’s time for Chuck to kill his second agent using the same protective posture that Morgan taught Chuck at school, where he used it to defend himself against girls who didn’t like him.
The unfortunate agent here trips over Chuck’s leg and falls out of the window of a fifteen story building. Chuck does try to save him, but the agent’s fate is sealed by his choice of tailor, when the sleeve comes off his jacket.
As Jill helped him, admittedly unsuccessfully, Chuck returns that trust by letting her escape, even if that upsets General Beckman.
The overriding themes in both this story and the Buy More potions is about trust, and when you must give it even when logic suggests it’s a bad choice. Chuck apologises to Sarah for not trusting her, without knowing that she and Casey have just been given the order to take Chuck ‘underground’ to protect the information he has.
Sarah can’t do this, and she and Chuck go on the run, which is where we leave them.
The only problem I have with plot driven Chuck is that it’s slightly light on comedy and cultural references, but somehow I trust them that the final two stories will have plenty of both.
Next week Chuck takes on the ‘Colonel’, and Morgan suffers the consequences of putting Emmett in control.
Check out Billy’s review of episode 19 here.